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ConsciousCuisine
Aug 12th, 2004, 05:50 PM
Okay, I know this has been discussed before, but I am catching a lot of flack from "vegetarians" and even "Vegans" for being a purist. I have been attacked, flamed, called self-righteous and ignored. (on a "veggie" board)

For me, it is pretty cut and dried- my definition pretty much matches the one you read as you enter The Vegan Forum. I am Vegan, therefore I do not buy, use, or support the use of or testing of animals and their products. I won't cook an egg over here or some shrimp over there, I would not, could not (oh, it's turning into a Seuss-Rhyme)... you get the point. I am a Vegan Chef. I will not cook animal products for clients. I am a Vegan person and a Mom, so I don't cook or buy non-vegan items for family even...to do so would not be VEGAN.

What is your definition of being "Vegan"?

John
Aug 12th, 2004, 08:11 PM
Sometimes I eat stuff with refined sugar in it and on occasion I'll drink a non-vegan beer if it is offered. I try to avoid it though.

Vivisanctor
Aug 12th, 2004, 08:28 PM
ConsciousCuisine:

I think these people who keep arguing with you are debating about the wrong term. It sounds like they might be trying to make the words 'vegan' and 'animal rights activist' into the same concept.

I can't seem to figure out why they would bother challenging the definition. Sounds like a waste of time to me. My personal definition will never change, because that's just not how it works.

eve
Aug 13th, 2004, 08:10 AM
My definition hasn't changed over the years, and I'm not flexible, even with the honey that "beforewisdom" is neutral about. If someone else wants to eat it (sometimes referred to as bees vomit), that's up to them, but I'm vegan.

Fruitbat
Aug 13th, 2004, 09:41 AM
I guess I would use aninflexible definition of vegan - but that makes me un-vegan because occasionally my enovironment contrives for me to break with a vegan diet and I hate and feel guilty about it but have no choice, also I work with non-vegan products, I take non-vegan medication and I use non-vegan household products because my student budget cannot always afford the vegan ones. I understand why it is important for the definition of the word vegan to maintain its full meaning and nothing annoys me more than when ppl are imprecise with their language ex fish-vegetarians calling themselves vegetarians when they are actually pescotarians and poulrty eaters are pollotarians... Still I would call myself vegan because to all intents and purposes mainly diet I am vegan and requrie vegan foods so that all those around me do nt see the non-vegan aspects of my life and if they do I explain very carefully that that is not vegan... Do i make sense?

Gorilla
Aug 13th, 2004, 10:00 AM
my basic definition of vegan doesn't change, but it's not always physically possible to stick to it completely, for example taking vital medication.

currently there are very few alternatives available so in this sort of situation if it's necessary i don't believe it makes you less of a vegan. it's been said before but it's impossible to be 100% vegan in this world anyway, so i just try to do the best i physically can.

gertvegan
Aug 13th, 2004, 10:36 AM
I often refer to the uk vegan society definition to exclude as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. I find whilst the above wording will never change for me, I do find myself evolving more and more as a vegan. There are grey areas where some issues are beleived to be vegan by some vegans but not others.

beforewisdom
Aug 13th, 2004, 12:42 PM
My definition hasn't changed over the years, and I'm not flexible, even with the honey that "beforewisdom" is neutral about. If someone else wants to eat it (sometimes referred to as bees vomit), that's up to them, but I'm vegan.
LOL!......and many of the fruits we eat are the sex organs of plants, which came from flowers that were pollinated by bees dropping "sticky stuff" off of their legs into those sex organs. Ahem.

Vivisanctor
Aug 13th, 2004, 03:44 PM
Keep in mind that many of the medicines currently available only by prescription would have been developed even without animal testing. The issue is that we do not want to pay a company which is CURRENTLY doing testing. This is one of those problems of conscience where looking to the past kinda obscures the real issue.

animalsvoice
Aug 13th, 2004, 04:43 PM
The word is definitely flexible. Because people use it differently. Some seem to only think about what they eat and not.. But in my mind, if a person eats no animal food but buys leather etc, he/she is a vegetarian. When the word vegetarian was intended long ago... it didn't mean "a person who does not eat meat" - it has come to mean that now because so many people are lacto/lacto-ovo vegetarians (it's their fault), but I think it's wrong. I always think those people who just doesn't consume meat should call themselves lacto-ovo vegetarians, because otherwise it's really confusing. How in the world can cow's breats milk be vegetarian? If I go to a restaurant I think I should be able to just tell them what I eat, not what clothes I wear or what my "religious" beliefs are... I want to say to them I'm vegetarian, so I don't eat animal food. This is a bit OT but it's related.
Yeah "vegan" is flexible - some people are very strict and mean that I am not vegan because I eat things that has a very small amount of egg/milk-stuff in them... I think I'm somewhere in the middle - I don't care about every single little ingredient in things, but I would never buy meat, fish, egg, milk, leather, fur.... If a person does not buy it for themselves but for their kids etc, (like my mom) I call her almost vegan. Although I call myself vegan it's not important to me to go around and tell people I'm vegan (or something like that...), it's just a definition, a word.

animalsvoice
Aug 13th, 2004, 04:47 PM
Sometimes I eat stuff with refined sugar in it and on occasion I'll drink a non-vegan beer if it is offered. I try to avoid it though.

I eat refined sugar all the time, because in Sweden it's vegan.:-)

DontJustDoSomething, SitThere
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:00 PM
When the word vegetarian was intended long ago... it didn't mean "a person who does not eat meat" - it has come to mean that now because so many people are lacto/lacto-ovo vegetarians (it's their fault), but I think it's wrong. I always think those people who just doesn't consume meat should call themselves lacto-ovo vegetarians, because otherwise it's really confusing.

YEAH!

I don't care about every single little ingredient in things
Most vegans would still call you a vegan, unless you defend using leather or other animal products actively. If a guy is a nice & friendly person, I'd still call him nice & friendly even if he has a bad day now & then.

The word vegan and vegetarian should not change from the original meanings of the words. This would only add confusion. And - why should it "evolve"? Who would have any benefits from that, besides those who'd love to call themselves vegans but who are not?


If a person does not buy it for themselves but for their kids etc, (like my mom) I call her almost vegan.

Me too.

animalsvoice
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:02 PM
I guess I would use aninflexible definition of vegan - but that makes me un-vegan because occasionally my enovironment contrives for me to break with a vegan diet and I hate and feel guilty about it but have no choice, also I work with non-vegan products, I take non-vegan medication and I use non-vegan household products because my student budget cannot always afford the vegan ones. I understand why it is important for the definition of the word vegan to maintain its full meaning and nothing annoys me more than when ppl are imprecise with their language ex fish-vegetarians calling themselves vegetarians when they are actually pescotarians and poulrty eaters are pollotarians... Still I would call myself vegan because to all intents and purposes mainly diet I am vegan and requrie vegan foods so that all those around me do nt see the non-vegan aspects of my life and if they do I explain very carefully that that is not vegan... Do i make sense?

That's how I see it too, I can't always afford to buy my own things (soap and all kind of things)...But I think it's never good to be 'extreme', in any way. Ok, that word is of definition too but.. I don't think it's good to spend too much time reading lists of ingredients and such.... It's just a waste of time, I can go and tell people about why they should avoid animal products instead and
that is better in my mind, you're helping the animals more by making people think! I try to make the most out of my time instead of being an "extremist"... (Not to offend anyone, just trying to expain why I use my "mother's" soap etc, even though i don't think it's wholly "vegan"..)

animalsvoice
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:18 PM
Most vegans would still call you a vegan, unless you defend using leather or other animal products actively. I think so too.. I know some don't...but I don't care, it's just a word... For some people calling themselves vegans, being really strict and tell other people they are not vegans, seem more important to them than helping the animals.... It's okay for me if a person is very strict, and I admire them in a way. But I'm thinking in a larger perspective, I try to prioritize in another way. Cause it's all about priorities.

beforewisdom
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:44 PM
Keep in mind that many of the medicines currently available only by prescription would have been developed even without animal testing. The issue is that we do not want to pay a company which is CURRENTLY doing testing. This is one of those problems of conscience where looking to the past kinda obscures the real issue.
What does that have to do with what I said about not caring if other people use honey? :)

Fruitbat
Aug 13th, 2004, 06:38 PM
OK I am glad that I can still refer to myself as vegan because I really do care about being vegan. Initially I was only a dietary vegan so maybe I ws a strict vegetarian but now I care about using vegan body and hair and household products as much as I can - they are better for the skin and things anyway because they contain less violent chemicals and more natural ingredients.

Vivisanctor
Aug 14th, 2004, 12:02 AM
What does that have to do with what I said about not caring if other people use honey? :)I was stating a thought in general, it seemed relevant. Gorilla [[edit: and fruitbat]] broached the subject of 'non-vegan' medicine.

animalsvoice
Aug 14th, 2004, 12:42 AM
and is Sweden it is still horrible for you health :)

LOL, I know, I don't eat it "all the time", hehe, but i never think about what kind of sugar it is when I do... Oh yeah, I almost never eat candy of any kind or drink soft drinks...But in all the different breads that I eat, there is some(more or less) sugar.

animalsvoice
Aug 14th, 2004, 12:53 AM
OK I am glad that I can still refer to myself as vegan because I really do care about being vegan. Initially I was only a dietary vegan so maybe I ws a strict vegetarian but now I care about using vegan body and hair and household products as much as I can - they are better for the skin and things anyway because they contain less violent chemicals and more natural ingredients.

Yeah.. Some is... But a lot of the products are just "the same"...lots of chemicals and stuff (like sulfates, that's what I try to avoid the most). Very hard to find shampoo without it, and sometimes they're so bad and doees not really clean well... but I've finally found Kiss My Face's Big Body shampoo! nothing compares to it:-)

Michelle
Aug 14th, 2004, 03:12 AM
What about me? I don't eat dairy or eggs or meat of any kind. I don't eat honey. I do eat things (like my bread and cereal) that have sugar in them. I don't buy leather or fur. I don't eat gelatin. I do pay for my daughter's food when we eat out sometimes that might have cheese or something (she is lacto-ovo for now), but I don't cook with dairy or eggs at home (cept for the stuff I had left in the fridge when i decided to finally stop eating dairy and eggs--the only reason I used it was because it had already been bought and I didn't want to waste it because then I would have felt even worse about the animals suffering in vain--i didn't eat any of it myself). I already used Aveda skincare which doesn't test on animals according to PeTA and I don't think that any of the products I use have animal ingredients. I haven't checked out my household cleaners yet because I haven't had to buy new since becoming vegan (I buy in bulk). I do drive a car, of course. I don't know...I'm not crazy picky over things, but I never personally use animal products knowingly. I don't necessarily like to call myself a vegan because of the strict definition that most people use. I usually call myself a total vegetarian or just vegetarian.

Michelle
Aug 14th, 2004, 03:13 AM
BTW...sorry for the poor grammar above...I am typing as my daughter tugs at me to play horsey...guess I have to go now and play :)

Vivisanctor
Aug 14th, 2004, 03:24 AM
Do any of you really have trouble figuring out what you can and can't eat?

It has never been difficult for me, though of course I make mistakes now and then.

Some of you are saying that it's not too big a deal if you eat some here and some there, and you're right, but honestly it's easy to avoid. EXTREMELY EASY--so I just don't get the point. :confused:

ConsciousCuisine
Aug 14th, 2004, 05:05 AM
Vivisanctor, I don't find it difficult either; I have been reading labels for so long that it comes naturally for me. We actually eat very few foods that come with labels, anyway, unless it's the label around the fresh collard greens or kale we eat! Not only that, I am particular about what my family eats in general, so if I didn't cook it, if it didn't come form the Co-op Deli, and it's not a brand of food we know to be clean, we just don't eat it! Also, we eat very few packaged foods and no commercially prepared baked goods, so we have no suprises. I wouldn't eat most of these things even if they were vegan because they are simply not health-building.

Gorilla
Aug 14th, 2004, 08:38 AM
i find it easy to check labels too, i wouldn't be happy just taking something off the shelf and not worrying about whether it has a small amount of animal produce in it.

Vivisanctor, i don't know what the animal testing is like in the US [EDIT: i'm guessing you're in the US?], but in the UK i believe most medications are made by companies that continue to test on animals. the actual medication may not have been for years, but the companies that make them still experiment for new drugs. so if you need prescription medication it's not that easy to use one made by an organisation that doesn't test or commission animal testing. :(

animalsvoice
Aug 14th, 2004, 12:33 PM
Do any of you really have trouble figuring out what you can and can't eat?

It has never been difficult for me, though of course I make mistakes now and then.

Some of you are saying that it's not too big a deal if you eat some here and some there, and you're right, but honestly it's easy to avoid. EXTREMELY EASY--so I just don't get the point. :confused:

Where I live there are so few things that are totally vegan to buy, and I don't wanna eat the same things all the time....same dinner, same things on the bread etc.... I often eat the same anyway but it almost makes me wanna spew because I'm so tired of those things... And also I don't think it's good for the body, I need some vary. I don't know... for me it's not THAT easy. Especially not when it comes to cosmetics. And I don't know if I WANT to be an "extremist" there either cause I want to show companies who make ALMOST vegan stuff that it's good anyway and want to support them for that.